Costco latest to issue special dividend

As the fiscal cliff approaches, the discount retailer joins a growing trend.

By Benzinga Nov 28, 2012 1:31PM

Shopping cart in supermarket copyright PhotoAlto, James Hardy, PhotoAlto Agency RF, Getty ImagesCostco Wholesale Corporation (COST) reported sales figures on Wednesday. The company posted net sales of $8.15 billion for the month of November, a 9% increase over the same four-week period of 2011. 


In addition, the company's first-quarter net sales for fiscal 2013 -– which began on Sept. 3 and ended on Nov. 25 –- were $23.21 billion, a 10% increase over $21.18 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 last year.


On Oct. 30, Costco announced a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.275 per share. The company's Board of Directors announced a special dividend on top of the regular quarterly dividend on Wednesday.

This dividend will be paid on all shares of common stock at $7 per share, a payout totaling approximately $3 billion. The dividend will be paid on Dec. 18 to all shareholders of record as of the close of business Dec. 10.


In a statement, Costco Executive Vice President and CFO Richard Galanti said that the special dividend is a response to the company's strong balance sheet and access to credit markets. It was designed as a way to return capital to shareholders and allow the company to remain flexible as it expands into global markets.


The positive first quarter numbers, and the particularly strong sales figures for November, may be behind the announcement. But as previously reported, there has been a recent trend in many companies to declare special dividends. This trend has been fueled by worries about the looming the fiscal cliff at the end of the year.


Earlier this month, Costco President and CEO Craig Jelinek issued a statement after speaking with President Obama about current fiscal issues, expressing concerns about how higher income taxes could affect the 115,000 employees of Costco.


In addition to income tax concerns, tax breaks for dividends will expire after the new year if Congress fails to re-enact legislation on automatic rate hikes, and with each day that passes, more and more companies are hedging their bets in order to keep capital available should the crisis remain unresolved.

Tags: COST
0Comments

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

STOCK SCOUTER

StockScouter rates stocks from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, using a system of advanced mathematics to determine a stock's expected risk and return. Ratings are displayed on a bell curve, meaning there will be fewer ratings of 1 and 10 and far more of 4 through 7.

120
120 rated 1
268
268 rated 2
439
439 rated 3
709
709 rated 4
641
641 rated 5
609
609 rated 6
640
640 rated 7
516
516 rated 8
272
272 rated 9
152
152 rated 10
12345678910

Top Picks

SYMBOLNAMERATING
EXCEXELON CORPORATION10
TAT&T Inc9
VZVERIZON COMMUNICATIONS8
CTLCENTURYLINK Inc8
AAPLAPPLE Inc10
More

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

ABOUT

Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.

Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.

Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.